Survey gives new numbers on teleworking
The 2010 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, administered by the Office of Personnel Management (the government's HR office), compiled answers from more than 263,000 Executive branch workers, the largest survey of federal workers ever completed.
The survey, conducted every other year since 2002, asked federal workers about telework for the first time. Ten percent of respondents said they telework at least once a week and 12 percent said they do so for less than one full work day. Another 36 percent said they can't telework because they must be physically present to do their job (a group likely including law enforcement officers, lab technicians and national park rangers); 7 percent said they don't telework because technical issues prevent them from doing so; 23 percent said they don't telework because they're not allowed to do so; and 12 percent of workers say they choose not to telework.
The results mean 64 percent of federal workers could work remotely if given the opportunity.
"Hopefully those numbers will continue to climb so we can continue to push employees and managers to move in that direction," said Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, who called teleworking "a valuable tool for the government."
Telework advocates will surely use the new numbers to pressure lawmakers to pass telework legislation, arguing agencies need the option to avoid snow days and shut downs during major summits in the Washington area. The Obama administration also is encouraging federal agencies and Congress to allow for more flexible work arrangements so agencies can use the options as a recruiting tool, but legislative efforts have stalled in the House and Senate amid Republican concerns with the costs.
Do you telework? Can you telework? Do you know someone who does? Or should government workers be required to work from the office?
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| July 12, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Eye Opener
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